Shark Depredation and Unwanted Bycatch in Pelagic Longline Fisheries- Industry Practices and Attitudes, and Shark Avoidance Strategies
This study shows that fishers possess the knowledge to modify theirfishing gear and methods to maximize shark catch. Sharks areparticularly vulnerable to overexploitation and slow to recover fromlarge population declines. The expanding exploitation of sharks, fortheir fins as well as meat, warrants concern for the health of sharkpopulations as well as ecosystem-level effects from populationdeclines. This is compounded by the absence of effective managementframeworks in most fisheries, in combination with the lack of bothreliable fishery-dependent data and fundamental biologicalinformation for most shark species. Of the 12 fisheries included in thisstudy, only two are subject to shark retention trip limits, while five haveno measures to manage shark interactions. Thus, to prepare for a possibleincrease in demand for shark meat, in areas where sharks are targetspecies or could become targets, fishery management authorities areencouraged to begin effective data collection, monitoring andprecautionary shark management measures to ensure that sharkfishing mortality levels are sustainable.
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